On Thursdays, I pick the Monster up from school and take him to gymnastics.
In each case, this means navigating busy parking lots on foot. The school’s lot is nothing short of chaos, with parents in their personal cars and the larger busses steaming in and out of the lot and trying to navigate around in aisles that really aren’t large enough for the traffic that comes through. (Not to mention that folks can’t seem to be bothered to pay much attention to the painted arrows.) The lot over at Rebounders is a little less chaotic, but is a fairly confined space due again to the plot of land and its alignment next to two busy streets.
When we were taking the Monster to the behavioral psychologist, she worked with us on methods to keep him from wandering into traffic. The major method involves making sure that he is holding an adult’s hand, and reminding him to squeeze every so often so he’s the one actively doing the hand-holding, rather than the adult holding onto him. And this method tends to work when we’re transitioning between the vehicle and building, or walking in busy public places.
This doesn’t, however, deal with minor things like getting him out of the car.
Most of the time, he’s very good and stands by the door while we’re loading or unloading. He knows relatively well even which door is his – we’ve standardized somewhat on putting him on the left side of the back seat in both cars, mostly since then the driver can look back to see R when we’ve both kids with us. At gymnastics, though, I’m often juggling getting his cup from him (so he can get a drink after his session), getting him out of the car and getting his clothes so we can change him.
Today was the first time in a long time, though, that he actually wandered from the door towards traffic, rather than towards the building and walkway.
I think it was more distraction than anything, since he reversed course immediately when I called out to him to come back. (He hadn’t, fortunately, gotten past the rear bumper yet.) It just reminds me that I need to keep an eye on him when we’re in public and he’s “off the leash” as it were.